Mapping Georgetown’s Rose Park Visit Sparks New Recollections: Tell Your Story 


A unique table dedicated to the art of preservation appeared at the Georgetown Farmers Market at Rose Park last Wednesday — not of the pickling or canning variety, however, but dedicated to preserving Georgetown’s local history. It will be there again this Wednesday.

Marilyn Butler, the creator of the Mapping Georgetown Project and The Georgetowner’s publisher Sonya Bernhardt set up a stand to encourage passersby to write and illustrate their recollections of life in Georgetown on special Mapping Georgetown cards designed to plot (in free-form fashion) their cherished personal and family stories on an historic map grid of Georgetown.

The stories are shared on the Mapping Georgetown website (https://mappinggeorgetown.com/) and will eventually be cultivated in a Mapping Georgetown book to be put on display at the Peabody Room of the Georgetown Public Library. The Georgetowner is collaborating with the Mapping Georgetowner Project to help preserve Georgetown’s local history.

For fun at Rose Park, Butler offered a cash reward to anyone who submitted a story-map. “I had a poster and Rose Park created a big sandwich sign that said ‘a penny for your thoughts and a dollar for your story.’ So, I was handing out dollar bills. It was more of a conversation piece — but I would gladly give a dollar to anyone who would want to give me a story on site,” Butler said.

Butler was pleased that many of the people she chatted with pointed to their homes nearby and offered to send in stories by mail or online.

After deep conversations, Butler began to receive stories in the days following her farmers market appearance. “I got a story from a sixth generation Georgetowner. He wrote a lovely story about growing up in Georgetown and about his family tree. He filled out the map about where he lived and where his sixth-generation relatives lived. And about the Mt. Zion and Female Union Band cemeteries where they’re buried.”

Butler also received a “charming story about growing up in Georgetown” where the writer vividly recalled: “The alley was as expansive as our imaginations allowed.”

One of Butler’s favorite stories for the week involved a writer who loves Rose Park because it helped convince her own family to get a dog. “My best story about [Georgetown], the story-map says, “is moving in and going to Rose Park and joining — albeit dogless — the Yappy Hour parties. Everyone brings something to pass [around] and their dog. I quickly convinced my husband to agree that we needed a dog. Thus, we were blessed with a fabulous golden doodle named Ziggy — not after Ziggy Stardust — but Zigmund of Wagner’s Ring Series. On his 2nd birthday we had a “Bark Mitzvah.” Ziggy’s Hebrew name is Zahav — which means “gold.” Ziggy and I love Rose Park and [Georgetown].”

Yes, we must confess that writer is Gail Daubert, president of the Friends of Rose Park.

Butler is excited to serve as one of the hosts of the Mapping Georgetown table again this week. “We can’t wait for our follow-up map collecting session this Wednesday!” she said. “Last Wednesday was a treasure quest engendering many story surprises that we are very eager to share. A penny for your thoughts and a whole dollar for your story again this week – if peaches and corn and flowers are not enough to whet your appetite….”

A story in the Mapping Georgetown collection.

Woman leaving Rose Park Farmers Market (photo by Sonya Bernhardt.)

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